Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Raining Babies.....

Babies are such blessings and the blessings are abounding around the Quill. Both of my best friends oldest daughters just gave birth to daughters of their own. Needless to say, babies equal baby showers! I love celebrating new life and what better way than to shower mother and child with gifts and treats, especially of the handmade variety.

I was in charge of decorations for one of the showers a couple of weeks ago. I shared these invitations I made in an earlier post. (click on photos to enlarge for better viewing)
The colors for the invitations were inspired by a baby planter with a soft pink silk arrangement in it that was given to the mother-to-be as a gift when she was born. Her mother saved it and wanted to use it as a center piece for the shower. It had traditional baby colors of soft pink, baby blue, butter yellow, and a minty green and had an ABC motif. I repeated these colors and motifs in the invitations as well as the decor.

While I am on my blog break, the next few scheduled posts will be tutorials making the invitations, some of the decor items, and a couple of gifts. I hope you will enjoy these sweet little items and ideas. Maybe you will be able to incorporate them into your special celebration or maybe they will be a jump start for ideas for party favors or gifts.

Each party, shower, or celebration must start with an invitation. Above I have given you the inspiration for the invitations, here are the particulars in making them. Below I am including the two images I used as a little gift for you to use in your crafting. Feel free to copy them or save them to your computer.
This invitation can easily be adapted to use for a baby boy. I have included the changes and photos for those adaptations at the end of the instructions.

MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED (PER CARD)

Square CD mailer envelope, my envelopes were 5" x 5"
Card stock for card base, 8" x 4 3/4", I used a cream color, save your scraps to punch out the four small squares for the BABY motif.
Solid yellow paper
Solid blue paper
Solid pink paper
Alphabet rubber stamps
Pink Ink Pad
Pink crepe paper streamer
Pink ribbon
White Lace trim
Vintage baby images
Glue stick, hot glue, spray glue (optional)
Wallet size (2 1/2" x 3") photo of the baby or mother-to-be (optional)
Decorative scissor
Small Square Punch, one that punches 1/2" x 1/2" squares
Needle and thread

INSTRUCTIONS:

* Fold the card leaving a 1" overhang on the back of the card and trim both side edges with a decorative scissor. Trim away 1/2" from the bottom front of the card.

* Using the solid blue paper, cut a 4 1/4" x 3 1/2" piece and apply to the front of the card using a glue stick or spray glue.* Cut a 12" piece of pink crepe paper streamer. Cut strip in half length wise using a pinking shear. With a needle and thread, gently gather straight side of streamer. Adjust gathers to fit the bottom edge of the front of the card and gently flatten the ruffle. Glue in place using hot glue. If it extends over the bottom edge of the back of the card, trim away the excess with a pinking shear.
TIP: When I gather the streamer, I leave a three inch tail at the beginning so as not to pull to the thread all the way through and to allow for adjusting gathers. To adjust my gathers a dab a bit of hot glue to one edge of the card and press my streamer end to it. This anchors the ruffle and makes it easier to work with. After my gathers are adjusted, I dab a bit of hot glue on the other end and then anchor the rest with a bead of hot glue.

* Glue a piece of white lace trim or ribbon over the top of the gathered streamer covering the raw edges using hot glue. Tie a small pink satin bow and glue in the center of the trim using hot glue.
* Glue the vintage baby image to the fold side of the card front, centering, using a glue stick or spray glue.* Using the small square punch, punch out four cream colored squares from your scraps.* Stamp each square, two with the letter "B", one with an "A", and one with a "Y". Allow ink to dry.* Mount stamped "BABY" squares using a glue stick to solid yellow paper and trim leaving a small border around the square. Repeat this process by mounting that square onto pink paper. Glue each completed square to the front of the card as pictured.* If you choose to add a photo of the baby or mother, mount it to a piece of solid yellow paper with a glue stick, trimming, leaving a small border. Repeat mounting to the blue paper. Repeat, mounting to the pink paper. Adhere to the inside front of the card using a glue stick or mounting tape. Using hot glue, add a single layer satin ribbon to the inside bottom of the invitation just over the top edge of the ruffle to finish off the inside front cover.NOTE: If you do not use a photo, use the smaller second vintage image on the inside of the front card flap.* Cut a 3/4" x 4 3/4" strip of yellow paper. Mount 1/4" from the outer edge of the card back, using a glue stick. This will peek out of the card and highlight the decorative front edge.* Cut a 3 1/4" x 4 1/2" piece of solid pink paper and a solid piece of yellow paper slightly smaller. Glue the pink paper to the inside of the card back. Layer the yellow paper over the pink. This is where you will add you invitation information. I used a lined rubber stamp and pink ink to create mine, handwriting the information using a pink gel pen. You can use a stamp or print the information directly onto the yellow paper and then cut it out and glue it in using a glue stick.* Optional: On the back I used rubber stamp that says, "Handmade By" and signed and dated each card using a pink gel pen.* Glue the vintage image to the outside of the envelope, address, and add postage.
NOTE: Be sure to have these weighed, most used standard postage but a few went out of state and required extra postage.
* For an envelope seal I used the second vintage image, gluing it in place with a glue stick.NOTE: To change the invitation to suit a baby boy, simply change up the colors a bit following the same steps as above with the minor changes below.* For the graphic, use the baby on the pillow.
* Trim the card edges using a less feminine scissor.
* Use two layers of coordinating crepe paper streamers, cut one strip in half using the pinking shears and the other 1/4 the width of the strip. Do not gather the crepe paper strips, glue them on flat layering the small strip on top of the wider strip. Use a plain white thin satin ribbon and bow to finish the piece off.
* Stamp and mount the "BABY" letters as described above only stager them across the top of the card, slightly overlapping, centering the vintage image below the lettering.
These examples could also be used as birth announcements, simply stamp out "GIRL" or "BOY" instead of "BABY"!

Perhaps you would like to present a set of these to the new parents to be used as Thank You Cards, simply make them according to the instructions, using a rubber "Thank You" stamp on the inside where they can then write their thank you message! TIP: When I do this I also include postage on the card set for the parents convenience.

A pretty way to bundle these up as gift is to present them in a dainty diaper!
You will need:
A Vintage Handkerchief that coordinates with your invitations
A Diaper Pin
Re-positional Double Stick Tape

* Press the handkerchief flat, fold it into a triangle and press.

* Fold center point up and press.*Open the handkerchief up lay the stack of cards and envelopes with the bottom lining up with the pressed fold line.* Fold each side point to the middle, if needed, secure hanky fold to hanky fold with a bit of re-postional double stick tape.* Fold up the bottom point and pin with a diaper pin!For an added touch, add postage to the envelopes and tuck in a matching gel pen to aid the busy parents in expressing their thanks!

I have to tell you that the mother and father of this little baby were ecstatic over these. Proud grandpa took his to work and sat it on his desk to show off his first grandchild. Grinning grandma cried all over me. I think they were a hit!

In the next tutorial I will share a little twist on an old tradition, a corsage for mommy that can become a little decor touch for baby's room! Stay tuned!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Where I Am Going.....

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."

~John Lubbock~
Photo: A cup of flower, picked on the banks of the Little Red River, Lobo Landing.

Before I tell you where I am going, I need to take care of some blog business. Just this last week my humble spot in this big blog world was honored to receive three awards. One from Rosa of Stripes and Roses Cottage, one from A Hint of Home, and a third from Vanessa of Blushbutter. All of these ladies have beautiful blogs and I encourage you to visit each of them.

Stripes and Roses Cottage and A Hint of Home gave me the following award and the rules:


  1. Put the logo on your blog
  2. Add a link to the person who awarded you
  3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
  4. Add links to those blogs on yours
  5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs
Thank you to both of you lovely ladies for the honor of this award. I pass this on to:

1. Bonnie of Calamity Jane's Cottage
2. Gale of Mind Wide Open
3. Vikki of Humble Heart , Vikki is a new blogger with a pretty little place to visit so go over and give her a warm welcome!
4. Karen of Bluemuf's Corner
5. Shop Girl of Back of the Moon
6. Gemma of A Desert Garden
7. Denise of Pinkpomegranate

Vanessa stopped by my blog recently and sent me an email that said she found it inspiring. So she used her fantastic graphic design talents and created this darling little award for me:
Vanessa, this is one of the sweetest things I have ever been given. Thank you so very much for this darling little angel fairy baby with her little quill, ink , and book. I just love her! I won't keep this little darling to myself, but will pass her on at a later time. Thanks ladies and blessings be multiplied to you for your kindness.

Now, to tell you where I am going.....

I am going to walk barefoot in the dew damp morning grass,
to watch the wild morning glories bloom.

I am going to sip ice tea while sitting on my deck,
watching Grace, a deer, eat mimosa blossoms.

I am going to slip beneath sun dried sheets,
and dream sweet dreams.

I am going to float on my back in the pool,
while dragonflies dance against the big blue sky.

I am going to dip my toes in the pollywog's pond,
and cheer them on as they grow their little legs.

I am going to walk in the deep shade of the cool woods,
and day dream.

I am going to take my camera on a field trip, just she and I,
to view all the wonders God has made.

I am going to sit under the stars on a quilt,
and watch the fireflies blink.

I am going to recline on the swing,
and read a book.

I am going to eat ice cold watermelon while laughing,
juice dripping down my chin.

I am going to marvel at sunrise,
and gasp at the glory of sunset.

I am going to enjoy summer!

I am going to take
a blog break!

I just wanted to let you know that I will be on an extended blog break. I recently visited with a very good blog friend and told her I am feeling blog pressure not blog pleasure. She suggested a break, I agree. I wish to take some time to just be and not have to do if that makes any sense. I cannot say how long I will be gone.

While I am on break, I will be thinking of you and of this blog. Actually, I'll be giving the blog matter some prayer. I think my blog has lost its voice and I must find it again. I hope each of you take some time to just be.

I'm off for refreshing, refueling, and infilling!

Blessings to you all,
Miss Sandy

P.S. You may not miss me at all, I have a few posts scheduled if you care to pop in.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WHERE I'M FROM.....

While visiting around blog land I came across "Where I'm From" a creative writing exercise over at Vee's (her poem) and Sand Flat Farm (her poem), which originated over at Shanda's, here (the idea behind the writing exercise)and here (her beautiful poem), based on the poem Where I'm From by George Ella Lyon. The following is my little contribution:Where I'm From
by Sandy Babb

I am from hills and hollers, and winding red dirt roads
I am from the Bible Belt where you are taught to let Jesus carry your load

I am from summer sun warmed days and springtime's gentle breezes
I am from autumns riot of color and winters deep freezes

I am from whip-o-wills
I am from ghost night story chills

I am from bare feet, pig tails, and watermelon rind
I am from eating sun warmed blackberries straight from the vine

I am from shower baths on the front lawn
I am from watching the daylight dawn

I am from crayons, paints, and glue
I am from scissors and construction paper too

I am from June bugs and fire flies in jars
I am from laying in the grass and wishing on stars

I am from cornbread, brown beans, and fried taters'
I am from poke salad, green onions, cucumbers, and fresh tamters'

I am from voices that drawl and twang
I am from fables and the ballads they sang

I am from buried deep down Southern roots
I am from lone night barn owl hoots

I am from magnolias, gardenias, and honeysuckle vine
I am from a more genteel time

I am from a broken home
I am from time alone

I am from fables and fairy tale books
I am from fear and hiding in nooks

I am from sadness, pain, and sorrow
I am from "It will be better tomorrow"

I am from syrupy Southern sweet tea
I am from God, who made me

I am from life lessons learned
I am from bridges burned

I am from mercy, forgiveness, and grace
I am from the fallen human race

I am from lost to found
I am from choosing higher ground

I am from sinner to saint
I am from "perfect I ain't"

I am from burdened and bound
I am from freedom in Him found

I am from humbled and bent
I am from much time in prayer spent

I am from a heart wounded and broken, tenderly healed over time
I am from love, compassion, and mercy divine

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

P.S. I'd love to hear where you are from. If you do this little exercise, let me know, I'd love to drop by, sit spell, and get to know you well.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mind Wide Open Art Challenge.....

Here is my entry for the Mind Wide Open Art Challenge hosted by Gail of Mind Wide Open and Shabby Cottage Studio Blog! The rules of participation were easy, use the image Gail provided with the word prompt of "Remembrance" to jump start your art piece. Any media was welcome with one week to complete the piece and send her the photos. The winner will receive a $20.00 shopping spree at Shabby Cottage Studio for altered art, collage, and paper art supplies with free shipping!This is a linking post to Gail's blog where you are invited to vote for your favorite featured art piece! You can only vote once. Visit here to vote! (Click on photos to enlarge for better viewing.)

For my project I chose to use the image in three different sizes printed on muslin. I happened upon a small tin pail with a patina that reminded me of the background of the image and decided to incorporate the two into my collage. I thought about the prompt word, "Remembrance" a lot. Remembrance is the act of remembering, the ability to remember, or a memorial. A memorial is an object that serves as a memory of something usually a person (who has died) or an event.

I started out with a totally different idea and while searching through some old personal memorabilia I came across some letters my aunt had written to me not long before she passed away. Three words in her beautiful script captured my attention, "Just a reminder ~".
This sent me off on a new creative path. I wanted my project to be a "Remembrance" object to serve as a memory for my Aunt Susie as well as a reminder for an event that I need to participate in often.After triple matting one of the muslin printed images, I scanned the letter, edited it to get the size and words I needed and then printed her handwriting on muslin, which I tore into a strip and determined the placement on my pail. As an added detail, I used old buttons to anchor the ends of the script strip. I added a band of chocolate brown velvet and organza ribbon around the pail. To finish off the front of the pail, I embellished it with a golden key tied with a snippet of old lace and a shabby satin ribbon, gluing it to the ribbon band. I added a spay of paper roses, velvet leaves, and a gold heart shaped lock knotted with another snip of shabby lace. Below the key is a Scripture reference printed on muslin, torn and glued in place and topped off with another vintage button.To the back of the pail a larger matted image was applied. Over the image is a little lace edged muslin book. Printed on the book cover is a Scripture that showcases the word "Remembrance". The book is held closed by a vintage button glued to a small magnet. When the magnet is removed, the book can be opened, revealing the larger image behind it and a smaller image on the inside of the book with another word from my aunt's script, "anything." Another paper rose and velvet leaf are added adornment as well as well as an initial "cameo" that I made from some old junk jewelry, a scrap of paper and an initial "S" sticker. It is topped off with a vintage lace bow.

To finish off the project, I add some dangling vintage lace trim to the rim of the pail and a bow of old lace and another paper rose to the pail handle.
I love the play of the soft laces, ribbon, and roses against the hardness of the pail. I carefully chose each embellishment that would be meaningful to me.

Sometimes, like the wistful image, I find myself "locked" in a pose or position, my position being worry. This gets me tied up in knots.
This is where the Scripture I chose comes into play. It is the "key" to my being able to remain as serene and peaceful as the image appears. In the letter my aunt wrote me, she penned the words, "Just a reminder ~", which were followed by her telling me that if I ever needed anything, to just let her know. If I wanted to talk, I could call her collect, she would always be available and never to busy to hear from me.

This brings me to the event that I need to participate in when worry assails, that event is prayer. My aunt's message brings to "Remembrance" the words of Christ, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Prayer is the "key" to "unlocking my heart" that is over wrought with emotions and to restoration of serenity and peace. When I unbutton the little book and fold back its cover I see the image of peace and the hand scrawled message of "anything". I can go to my Heavenly Father for "anything", all I need do is let Him know I want to talk. All calls to Him are free of charge. He is always available and never too busy to hear from me. These are the same conditions my Aunt Susie gave me in her letter, they are unconditional and offered out of a heart of love.

The cameo featuring the "S" is for Susie and her love for me.
It also represents the holy Spirit which brings to my "Remembrance" all things they have said to me, taught me, desire for me. These words are a gift to me. My aunt knew how troubled my heart was at the time and how fearful I was of circumstances beyond my control. Her words were meant to soothe and comfort me. The Lord knows these are still constant needs in my life, soothing freedom from fear and comfort for a troubled heart. I graciously accepted both their gifts of a listening ear and found my position changed from panic to peace. This is my "Remembrance" piece for retaining peace .What will I do with my little pail? I have already filled it with shredded French papers, a little blank journal my daughter gave me and a pen. I will also be adding some note cards. This piece will rest on my desk as a stationary caddy!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy
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